2016 was a big year for the both of us, filled with so many memorable moments. Just thinking about 2016 makes me tear up. Maybe I’m just more emotional but looking back on the best of 2016, it’s been an incredible year with a clear focus on family and travel.
It feels like time went by so fast and I honestly can’t believe the year is over. In saying that, it does make me feel grateful for all the amazing experiences we’ve had and the incredible journey we are taking as new parents. So, similar to last year’s post, I’ve complied the top 7 memorable moments of 2016 for us! Here we go!
7. Living in Ecuador
At the beginning of 2016, we were living in Ecuador and had been for quite some time from 2015. We lived in a small two bedroom house with Buckwheat. He had his own front lawn, which he would have so much fun in every day. We ate quinoa, avocados and chia seeds everyday and got to travel to a few places as well. Life was good and we were really able to unwind and recharge ourselves from the busy and stressful lifestyle we once lived in Chile.
Our time in Ecuador marked the pivotal moment when we decided to start a family and remains the place where we first found out we were pregnant in mid January. I think this is why it needed to be included in the top memorable moments. The moment we found out we were pregnant. It feels like a lifetime ago when we were there but living in Ecuador really helped us refocus ourselves on what we wanted and kick started the year of 2016 focusing on family.
Ecuador was also the place where we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, yet another milestone in our relationship. From the people we met and the places we traveled to, our life in Ecuador had to be included in our top memories for 2016.
6. Yorkie in New York
The opportunity to travel with Buckwheat has always been one of my fondest memories every year. for the last few years Buckwheat has been able to explore the world with us. From Taiwan, Thailand, Sydney and Chile, his traveled to more than 6 countries. I know, his such a lucky dog! Our little travel buddy 🙂 This year we were able to not only live in Chile and Ecuador with Buckwheat, but we were blessed to be able to travel to the Big Apple with this little fur ball on our way to Taiwan.
He was so calm and well behaved at the airports and on the three flights getting to New York. Although we were only there for less than 2 weeks, we were able to take him around to some of the tourists spots like Times Square and Centennial Park.
This made it to our best of 2016 moments because we were able to take Buckwheat on the plane with us and organize the whole trip ourselves without the need of an overpriced cargo pet service. It made us feel at ease knowing he was fine on the plane and to be able to be with him throughout the journey to New York. It was also the last trip we would do as a family of three and it was truly special to be able to go around New York with him.
5. Moving back to Taiwan
5 years ago we lived in Taiwan for the first time on a working holiday visa. We had an amazing year and half there (this was when Buckwheat joined out little family). We use to go to this gym called HOSA everyday and since then we had a goal to live right next door from the gym. It was a large apartment complex, more expensive and fancy than the small and humble studio we were living in. We said to each other that “one day when we are back, we’ll live there”.
Fast forward to 5 years later after traveling and living in rural Australia, Thailand, Chile and Ecuador, we came back to Taiwan wanting to settle in the exact same city, in the same area. We knew that we still loved Taiwan and wanted to raise our children there for at least the next 5 to 10 years. And guess what? This time, we moved right next door to that exact gym! (FYI the gym changed to Fitness Factory, another franchise but it still counts!)
This was a big moment for us, not only that it showed us that we were financially more stable being able to rent a two bedroom apartment, but it also showed us that we could do what we set our minds to do, even if it takes 5 years.
4. Weightloss transformation!
2016 was the year my husband turned 30. It was a big moment for him and for us. It was also a year where we loss a few loved ones and it not only brought focus to the important of love and family, but also the importance of health. Nothing could be more important as without good health, you have nothing!
At the time I was 16 weeks pregnant, my husband was technically ‘obese’ weighing 84kg. He couldn’t fit into his pants and had to borrow his dad’s formal pants for a wedding we were attending. He made the decision then and there that he would not only lose the weight but change his diet and lifestyle.
When we moved to Taiwan shortly after, he began a new workout regime and new dieting program focusing on the logic and mathematics behind weightloss. He didn’t follow those trendy weightloss programs but rather found a program that really can long lasting results. My husband had a huge transformation.
The results were unbelievable! Within the first 2 months he lost 10kgs. In total he lost 17kgs in less than a year! (7 months to be exact!). He not only looked better but felt better. I couldn’t be any prouder of him. He continues to amaze me with his dedication to his health and has inspired me to lose some of the pregnancy weight myself. I in turn have lost over 10kgs too.
3. Straightening up our Lifestyle and Goals
This one isn’t a physical moment in time but rather a shift in goals and choices that affected what we ended up doing in 2016 and how we would live for the coming years. From 2013 to 2015, our goals were definitely focused on running our startup in Chile and that meant putting a hold on other priorities in life. You could say we were engrossed in the startup scene.
Looking back it was intense, tiring and to be honest a load of work to burn money in the hopes of getting an investment. But at the end of the day, after two years of hard work, we realized we didn’t want anyone to control us or tell us what to do and we were just not happy.
The experience brought us more stress and we put off so many things like our honeymoon and even working out everyday because of it. Although I don’t have any regrets about this, 2016 was the beginning of new changes to our lifestyle and to our goals.
We had long discussions late at night figuring out what we wanted for 2016 and what we wanted for the rest of our lives. We realized that the startup scene wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted a life of joy, love and happiness- we wanted to start a family.
This lead to big changes in our lives and big decisions were made. We could not be happier now and are thankful for those harder times in previous years which helped us realize what’s most important to us.
2. Our First Pregnancy
When we found out we were pregnant, it was the beginning of 2016. It’s been a wonderful year being pregnant for majority of the year with lots of new experiences for the both of us. I really enjoyed being pregnant. Although there were times we were worried like the time I fell in the rain or when we found out I had a haematoma, and times where it wasn’t all that fun like the leg cramps and morning sickness, I can honestly say that 2016 wouldn’t have been the same without the wild ride of being pregnant.
To be able to create a human being, to share your body with your baby is the most beautiful experience I’ve ever done. I wouldn’t have changed anything that happened.
Being pregnant, I learnt a lot about myself. It changed the dynamic of my relationship with my husband in a positive way as we grew from husband and wife to parents.
It is not only a top memory for the year but a top memory out of the entire 29 years of life I’ve had.
1. The Birth of Our First Child
Giving birth to our daughter was by far the top moment of 2016. It started a chain of firsts for us, not only as parents but as a couple. The first time we held our daughter. The first time she looked into our eyes. The first time I breastfed. The first time we heard her laugh, saw her smile and the first time she mumbled to us trying her best to communicate what she wanted and needed. All little moments but all important moments indeed.
I will never forget that moment where I held her close to my chest. Time just stopped, the pain of giving birth went away and nothing else matter besides the little bundle of joy I was holding. It’s a love like I’ve never experienced before, a love that grew from the love I have with my husband and a love that is truly unconditional and eternal.
Being a mother is something so special and I feel truly blessed to be able to experience it with my husband by my side.
There you have it! Our best of 2016 🙂 We lived in Ecuador and Taiwan, traveled to New York and Australia while pregnant, had a baby and transformed ourselves from the outside and inside. As we approach the new year, I could not imagine my life without my little family and I’m so proud of where we are today. Now we are a family of four and I can’t wait for what 2017 has in store for us! Share with us your top memorable moments of 2016, we would love to hear from you in the comments below!